Reactions to a Large Increase in Admission Price to State Parks


  • John L. Crompton
  • Seong-Seop Kim


State parks, price increase, visitor adjustment period.


Substantial price increases were enacted in Texas state parks on May 1, 1996. Data for the study reported here were taken from three surveys that were subsequently undertaken to monitor the impact of these price increases. The data were collected in May 1996 (data set 1), September 1996 (data set 2), and September 1997 (data set 3). The sampling for data set 3 was derived from data sets 1 and 2, so it was possible to monitor the reaction of a panel of respondents over time.Three research questions were addressed: (1) did the impact of the substantial price increase decay over time? (2) was there a difference in response to the price increases by TCP [annual pass] holders and per visit payers? (3) was there a difference in response to the price increases among those with different levels of income?The concept of a visitor adjustment period suggests there is likely to be a decay in the resistance to price increases over time. However, the analyses revealed only narrow and limited support for decay in resistance over time among per visit payers. Much stronger evidence of decay was apparent among Texas Conservation Passport (TCP) holders, but this finding was tempered by some concern over sample mortality. The analyses addressing research question 2 indicated a generally consistent pattern of per visit payers being significantly more resistant to the price increases than were TCP holders. Finally, analyses relating to research question #3 confirmed the economic aphorism that there is likely to be a higher level of resistance toward price increases by lower income cohorts than by higher income groups.





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